Sadiq Khan said he would not be surprised by Jeremy Corbyn running to be London Mayor because it is “the best job in the world”.
The Labour mayor appeared relaxed at the prospect of his party’s former leader standing as an independent in next year’s contest.
Mr Khan told the PA news agency: “Last time I stood for mayor in 2021, I think there were 20 candidates, including Count Binface.
“And so let’s wait and see how many people put their names forward for the elections next May.
“I genuinely think – and I’ve had a number of other jobs before being the Mayor of London – being the Mayor of London is the best job in the world so I’m not surprised that everyone wants to be the mayor.”
Mr Corbyn was stripped of the Labour whip over his response to a damning report into anti-Semitism in the party and Sir Keir Starmer has made clear he will not be allowed to stand as a candidate for the party at the next general election.
At an Edinburgh Fringe event on Saturday Mr Corbyn indicated he could run for mayor as he still had ambitions to deliver “change in our society”.
Asked whether he was considering standing for the mayoralty as an independent, Mr Corbyn told audience members: “Well let’s have a think about it, shall we?
“I want to see change in our society. I’m not disappearing, I’m not going away.
“I look at my diary and I’m more active than I have ever been at any other time in my life.”
He was also asked whether he would seek to retain his Islington North constituency as an independent at the general election.
Mr Corbyn said: “I have learned a great deal from the people I represent. I am available to represent the people if that is what they wish.”
Mr Khan was speaking to PA while promoting a scheme to provide millions of free meals to hard-pressed families in the capital over the summer.
He said: “I think it’s wrong that, through no fault of their own, children are going hungry. Through no fault of their own, children are struggling.
“And I know, from speaking to families who are struggling to make ends meet, that summer is a particularly stressful time for them.
“And frankly, the Government should be stepping up to support these families. Because they aren’t, we’re stepping up.
“But it’s really hard for us, we’ve got limited resources, this is costing £3.5 million which we’ve had to divert from elsewhere because I recognise the importance of children not going hungry.”